Japan earthquake aftermath: 8 months later, progress made, but road ahead reamins rough

New York Daily News

Much of the debris is gone, but construction efforts have lagged

BY BY BRADEN GOYETTE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, November 18 2011, 3:07 PM

Diggers work on a pile of debris from the March 11 tsunami at Ishinomaki, in northeast Japan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Greg Baker/AP

Diggers work on a pile of debris from the March 11 tsunami at Ishinomaki, in northeast Japan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Aerial photographs taken along the Japanese coast provide a new glimpse of the destruction caused by the 9.0 level earthquake and powerful tsunami that hit the island nation eight months ago.

The photos, taken from a helicopter 1000 feet in the air by The Associated Press, show rows of barren lots where only the foundations of houses can be seen.

Much of the debris has been cleared away since March, but reconstruction efforts have lagged.

This is the case even though the Japanese government has approved two stimulus packages dedicated to rebuilding the coast since March, worth 6 trillion yen in total (about $78 billion), Businessweek reported.

Takuji Okubo, chief Japan economist for Societe Generale, criticized the government’s slow implementation of the plans. “Former prime minister

Naoto Kan lingered on his position and wasted precious time just pondering what to do with the money,” Okubo told the BBC.

The lower house of parliament also recently passed a third $156 billion budget for rebuilding the devastated areas – the second largest supplementary budget ever passed by the Japanese government, according to the BBC.

The measure still needs to be approved by the upper house.

Aerial photographs taken along the Japanese coast provide a new glimpse of the destruction caused by the 9.0 level earthquake and powerful tsunami that hit the island nation eight months ago.

The photos, taken from a helicopter 1000 feet in the air by The Associated Press, show rows of barren lots where only the foundations of houses can be seen.

Much of the debris has been cleared away since March, but reconstruction efforts have lagged.

This is the case even though the Japanese government has approved two stimulus packages dedicated to rebuilding the coast since March, worth 6 trillion yen in total (about $78 billion), Businessweek reported.

Takuji Okubo, chief Japan economist for Societe Generale, criticized the government’s slow implementation of the plans. “Former prime minister

Naoto Kan lingered on his position and wasted precious time just pondering what to do with the money,” Okubo told the BBC.

The lower house of parliament also recently passed a third $156 billion budget for rebuilding the devastated areas – the second largest supplementary budget ever passed by the Japanese government, according to the BBC.

The measure still needs to be approved by the upper house.

The foundations of houses destroyed by the March 11 tsunami are seen beside undamaged houses, near Sendai, northeast Japan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Greg Baker/AP
The foundations of houses destroyed by the March 11 tsunami are seen beside undamaged houses, near Sendai, northeast Japan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/japan-earthquake-aftermath-8-months-progress-made-road-remains-rough-article-1.979835#ixzz1e6ManACR

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